All in all, Nebraska’s opening game against Southern Miss was about what I thought it would be last December: a young, upstart mid-major, fresh off a huge upset that lead to a conference championship, would come into Memorial Stadium week one and would hang tough with the Huskers for an extended period. Ultimately, they would make mistakes, Nebraska would capitalize, and, best of all, the game would land in a prime ABC/ESPN slot.
But Martinez’s maturity and leadership still surprised me.
I don’t know if Nebraska’s going to be able to win the Big 10, but I do know with this offense, they’re going to have a great chance. No one in the Big 10 runs an offense with this many skill people and tempo, and teams in the league are going to have a tough time defending it. Iowa, Michigan State, and Wisconsin all had to lean on their star running backs in their first games; Nebraska lost theirs, and was fine.
This is really the first offense since 1999, or maybe even 1997, that is going to be the aggressor. Defensively, Nebraska may not have the depth just yet, but if they can score at will, they’ll be gunning for the Big 10 Title. Whatever the case, if this is going to be the best Nebraska team in over ten years, it will be as much because of leadership as it is talent.